"Peaks of China" Photographer Makalu Gau Ming-Ho is Preserving Spectacular Mountain Scenes for Future Generations

“If you can do just one thing that you love and that you find meaningful, you will have lived a life worth living.”

The renowned mountaineer and mountain photographer “Makalu” Gau Ming-Ho is continuing to challenge the “100 Great Peaks” of China at the age of 70. For Gau, mountaineering is more than just a hobby – it’s the most important thing in life.

▲At 70 years of age, “Makalu” Gau Ming-Ho is actively continuing his mission to photograph the “100 Great Peaks” of China. For Gau, mountaineering is more than just a hobby – it’s the most important thing in life.

Even after a Brush with Death, the Mountaineer is Determined to Show the Beauty of these Mountains to the World

Gau’s first recognition as a photographer came in the nineties. In 1991, he launched the “Peaks of China” project, hoping to share the beauty of our mountains with the world. Within a few years, Gau had climbed most of China’s great peaks. Even when an accident during his attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1996 nearly took his life, he was back on the mountains just two years later. “I was 300m from the summit of Mount Everest when a blizzard struck. Perhaps God intervened to save me, because he felt I had some unfinished business in this world. I didn’t want to give up and I decided to make my comeback in 1998. My wife and family were very supportive of my decision. I hope that people can see the beauty of nature through my camera lens, and that they can learn about the wisdom of the great mountains. “

▲ Makalu Gau has left his footsteps on many mountains in Taiwan and throughout the world. “The higher you climb, the further you can see. Words cannot describe the beautiful view you find at the top of a mountain, so I began learning photography to share what I have seen. “

The Challenge of Storing Thirty Years of Precious Records

Every photo that Gau has taken in his 30-year photography career is an adventure, which makes large-scale file management and creating backups all the more important. “In the early days, I simply transferred the photos from a memory card to my computer, and then burned them onto CDs or DVDs if I ran out of space. Later, I began to store the photos on external hard drives. But it’s difficult to manage things when your files are scattered all over the place, and I am always worried that something might fall through the cracks. As the camera resolution is continuing to increase, so are the file sizes. With tens of thousands of negatives waiting to be scanned and digitized, storage space has become a pressing issue. “

▲Every piece of equipment has to be carefully chosen when one is facing harsh environments in temperatures lower than 0°C. Gau opts for “rugged” laptops and hard drives, and he carries a solar panel to charge his electronic devices.

▲With optical discs and external hard drives struggling to catch up with the ever-increasing resolution of digital cameras, Gau decided to search for a more efficient storage solution.

Seagate IronWolf + AKiTiO Expansion Box – Efficient Storage Made Easy

Gau decided it was necessary to upgrade his storage system in order to deal with his mass storage and file management needs. “In order to manage my photos more efficiently, my current storage configuration consists of 4 Seagate IronWolf 12TB hard drives in an AKiTiO TB2 storage enclosure. The 4 hard drives are set up in a RAID 1 configuration, which creates an extra backup system to protect my files. “

▲Makalu Gau has upgraded his storage system to 4 IronWolf 12TB hard drives in an AKiTiO Thunder 2 Quad storage enclosure to protect his valuable photos.

▲Gau’s 4 IronWolf 12TB hard drives are set up in a RAID 1 configuration, so backups of his photos are automatically created.

We asked Gau what is the biggest difference that the new storage system makes? “File transfers occur several times faster, thanks to the combination of the Seagate hard drives and AKiTiO’s Thunderbolt 3 interface. This saves a lot of valuable time. In addition, the RAID 1 automatic backup system gives me peace of mind. The solution combines a large capacity with a simple interface, making it very easy for me to organize my files. I’m able to easily consolidate and preserve valuable images, even without any previous knowledge of DAS or internal hard drives, and I’m currently working on consolidating my scattered data. “

▲The combination of a large capacity with a simple interface makes it easy to organize files. Even someone without any previous knowledge of DAS or internal hard drives can easily consolidate and preserve their valuable images.

Some data loss used to be inevitable, despite Gau’s best efforts to create backups. However, since he has upgraded to the Seagate hard drives, Gau has also enjoyed the peace of mind that Seagate’s data rescue service offers. “For me, the loss of any data means that precious images are lost to the world forever. I can’t climb that mountain again, or go back 20 years in time to reshoot a particular photo. Seagate’s data rescue service really gives me peace of mind, because I know there’s a good chance I’ll recover the data even if something bad happens. Buying ‘insurance’ for your precious images makes a lot of sense for a photographer, and I hope that these storage tools will help future generations to enjoy the same beautiful mountain scenery that I have seen.”


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